The naval variant of the military’s fighter jet of the future arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., on Nov. 6, a development that means the Navy and its industry partners are satisfied that the jet can safely perform basic flight maneuvers and is ready to tackle more demanding tests.Really? Really? The program is simply too far down the road to do anything but try to find a work around ... but an interesting forensics question would be the how and why we have reached this point of the program when someone asked, "So, what are the tie down and CG considerations for COD'n this out to the boat?" ... and the answer was, "What is a COD?"
Behind the scenes, however, the Navy is struggling to remedy a significant design oversight that poses a major potential hindrance to its ability to successfully deploy and maintain the F-35C Lightning II, the carrier-based variant of the joint strike fighter: Its powerful single engine, when packed for shipping, is too large to be transported to sea by normal means when replacements are required.
“That is a huge challenge that we currently have right now,” said Capt. Chris Kennedy of the JSF Program Office, answering a flier’s question about JSF engine resupply following a public presentation on the state of the program at the 2010 Tailhook Symposium in September in Reno, Nev. He said the program office is working with the Navy staff and carrier systems planners to solve the problem.
From the cheap seats here, it looks like no one listened to or invited on the team anyone from the Aviation Maintenance side of the house, CVN AIMD in particular. On the USN/USMC side of the program team, who were the 13XX post-Command personnel in the loop? When, how, and why was this requirement defined, prioritized, and addressed?
This really can't be something that was just thought of, could it? If at sometime it was decided that this need was not essential - who made that decision and why?
Is this another case of Jointicitis, r.e. ACS, where we could be spending a dollar in the long run to save a quarter now ... again.
Let me try to find the positive angle on this. This might be a good excuse to bring back a discussion of the Common Support Aircraft. We need a non-FA-18 based organic tanker and we need spare engines - use that as the basis for the discussion. Go evolutionary not revolutionary with a fly-off like was done with the F-16/17 & F-22/23. Replacement for E-2D at some time down the road should be able to piggy-back on the result.
Either that or we can accept lower strike sorties due to unnecessarily NMCS aircraft, and parasitic buddy-tanking.
Oh, let me help our our buddy Galrahn --- accountability?